Saturday, August 05, 2017

Sword And Spear game played

Played a game at Stephens today and he decided that we try Sword And Spear rules using his Carthaginians against my Punic Romans.
I had a brief dally with these rules when they first came out (now on a 2nd edition) but did not really grasp them finding some the concepts confusing..
However today's game was a real eye-opener to the attraction of the rules with them scoring very highly on playability and flavour.
The use of activation by dice is reminiscent of MEG card system and the combat like LADG (although with somewhat less modifiers and interactions) and once I got my head around the fact that a whole turn is a culmination of the unit Action Phases I really enjoyed their seemingly simplicity and fast play.
No outcomes seemed silly or implausible.
Elephants and Warband types can be very powerful if Combat Dice favour them whilst Legionaries are good tough troops and Cavalry a somewhat brittle but hard hitting type (again along lines of LADG).
As Combats are completed unit by unit rather than by files they are resolved much quicker than in MEG or FOG.
There a lot of decisions to make with Action Dice each phase and lots of angst when rolling useless 1 or 2 and cheering when rolling double 3 or better or a 6 and there is some subtle skill required to best utilise the 'hand they deal you'.
The opposed Combat rolls (best 4 dice with highest causing a Hit or Morale Test) is very easy to use with only a few modifiers (Armour, Fresh, Stationary Spears etc) to add dice or modify rolls.
Initial deployment can be key as units do not maneuver easily as usually you need an Action dice 1 above (2 for Undrilled units) your Discipline level meaning an Average unit with discipline of 4 requires a 5+.
Commanders affect this by improving discipline level by 1 and Veteran troops are level 3 to start with.
Foot skirmishers are weak and require some thought to use well and can be a drain on Action Dice at times.
The Army lists are somewhat generic but work ok as do the points costs (we played 500pts each which is default for 15mm on a 6ft x 4ft table).
No doubt as we play them more we will find fault but we found the rules to be well written and contained answers to most questions we had (there is an FAQ which helps)
All in all an enjoyable set and another (so many choices so little time !!) nice option to have with same toys.

PS - the Romans were stuffed !!


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